Paducah Tilghman High School students served as literary ambassadors during Quilt Week as they gave books away on World Book Night, in honor of William Shakespeare's birthday.
World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks.
Sophomore Palmer Stroup and Will Hancock, a senior at Tilghman, distributed their free books to quilters as they arrived at Hancock's of Paducah. Since Stroup and Will and Meg Hancock work there, they felt that the annual job as World Book Night Ambassadors could be partnered with their duties restocking fabric bolts and helping quilters from around the world. When presented with a free book, the visitors Wednesday night were in disbelief that there was no catch. A free book from a stranger can indeed be a gift, especially from a smiling student ambassador.
"Encouraging adults to continue reading is important. Reading can keep your mind active and can be enjoyable for every one. You just need to find the subject you enjoy," said Stroup. "My grandfather read every day until he was 93. I know reading kept him young and his mind sharp. After he died we donated thousands of his books to a local library. World Book Night allows me to continue that tradition of giving."
Meg Hancock, a sophomore, delivered books to excited fifth grade students at Morgan Elementary School earlier in the day. Hancock and senior Lilly Burba also delivered books to sixth grade students at Paducah Middle.
She explained, "I believe that being a strong and engaged reader is the key to academic success," said Hancock. "As my great-grandmother said, 'You are never alone when you have a good book.' I hope the fifth graders at Morgan will love these books."